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Wild West Outlaws and Lawmen

The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch, also known as the Doolin–Dalton Gang (Bill Doolin, pictured left), was a group of outlaws based in Indian Territory, that terrorized Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma Territory during the 1890s—robbing banks, stores and trains, and killing lawmen.  

The group had its origins following the Dalton Gang's botched train robbery in Adair, Oklahoma Territory July 1892. Two guards and two townspeople, both doctors, were wounded, and one of the doctors died the next day. Bob Dalton told William "Bill" Doolin, Newcomb, and Pierce, he no longer needed them so Doolin and his friends returned to their hideout in Ingalls, Oklahoma Territory. On October 5th, the Dalton Gang, what was left of them, would be wiped out in Coffeyville, Kansas.

The Wild Bunch Begins Its Reign:
November 1, 1892 -  Doolin and his new gang robbed the Ford County Bank at Spearville, Kansas, making off with all the cash and over $1,500 in treasury notes.  The Stillwater, Oklahoma Territory city marshal recognized Ol Yantis, the newest member of the gang, from the postcard descriptions he received. Shortly thereafter, Yantis was cornered and killed in a shootout with the marshal's posse.

The gang held up a Santa Fe train west of Cimmaron, Kansas on June 11, 1893 and took $1,000 in silver from the California-New Mexico Express. A sheriff's posse eventually caught up with them and engaged the gang in a gunfight that left Doolin with a bullet in his left foot.

September 1, 1893 - a posse organized by the new U.S. Marshal, Evett Dumas "E.D." Nix, entered the outlaw town of Ingalls with the intent to capture the gang. Three of the fourteen lawmen died as a result of the ensuing battle. Two townspeople also died; one was killed protecting the outlaws.  Of the outlaws, Newcomb was seriously wounded but escaped, and Arkansas Tom Jones, the killer of the three deputies and one citizen was captured.

January 3, 1894 - Pierce and Waightman robbed a store and post office at Clarkson, Oklahoma Territory. On January 23, the gang robbed the Farmers Citizens Bank at Pawnee, Oklahoma Territory, and March 10, the Wild Bunch robbed the Santa Fe station at Woodward, Oklahoma Territory, of over $6,000.

March 20 - Nix sends out a directive to have the Wild Bunch taken care of. The directive stated in part, "I have selected you to do this work, placing explicit confidence in your abilities to cope with those desperadoes and bring them in—alive if possible—dead if necessary."

April 1, 1894 - the gang attempted to rob the store of retired US Deputy Marshal W.H. Carr at Sacred Heart, Indian Territory. Carr, although shot in the stomach, managed to shoot Newcomb in the shoulder and the gang fled without getting anything.

May 10, 1894 - the Wild Bunch robbed the bank at Southwest City, Missouri of $4,000, wounding several townspeople and killing one.

May 21, 1894 - jurors in Arkansas Tom's trial found him guilty only of manslaughter in the killing of the three Deputy US Marshals. Frank Dale, the territorial judge hearing the case, returned to Guthrie, the territorial capitol, and told E.D. Nix, " ... you will instruct your deputies to bring them in dead."

Meanwhile, Bill Dalton left Doolin to form his own gang.  On May 23, 1894, the Dalton Gang robbed the First National Bank at Longview, Texas. This was the only job by the gang before three of its members would be killed by various posses and the last one was sent to prison for life.

April 3, 1895 - the Wild Bunch, without Doolin, held up a Rock Island train at Dover but when they were unable to open the safe containing $50,000 in army payroll, they robbed passengers of cash and jewelry instead. Deputy U.S. Marshal Chris Madsen and his posse took a special train to Dover, surprising the gang around noon. The marshals killed Blake and scattered the gang. This would be the last robbery by the Wild Bunch as a gang, although its members kept up the robberies and killings for which they were known.

How they all Died:
Bill Doolin's passing was as violent as the rest of his gang. All of their deaths were by gunshot.

Ol Yantis — killed November 29, 1892, Orlando, Oklahoma Territory by a sheriff's posse.

Arkansas Tom Jones — captured September 1, 1893, in Ingalls, Oklahoma Territory; pardoned 1910; killed August 16, 1924, in Joplin, Missouri, by Joplin police detectives.

Bill Dalton — killed June 8, 1894, near Elk, Indian Territory, by an Anadarko posse.

Tulsa Jack Blake — killed April 4, 1895, near Ames, Oklahoma Territory, by Deputy U.S. Marshals Will Banks and Isaac Prater.

Bitter Creek Newcomb — killed May 2, 1895, Payne County, Oklahoma Territory by Bounty Hunters, called the Dunn brothers.

Charley Pierce — killed May 2, 1895, Payne County, Oklahoma Territory, by the Dunn brothers.

Little Bill Raidler — shot and captured September 6, 1895, by Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Tilghman; paroled  1903 because of complication from wounds received when he was captured; died 1904.

Bill Doolin — captured January 15, 1896, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas by Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Tilghman; escaped with Dynamite Dick Clifton; killed August 24, 1896, Lawson, Oklahoma Territory, by a posse under Deputy U.S. Marshal Heck Thomas.

Red Buck Waightman — killed March 4, 1896, near Arapaho, Oklahoma Territory, by a Custer County posse.

Dynamite Dick Clifton — captured June, 1896, by Deputy U.S. Marshals from Texas; escaped with Bill Doolin; killed November 7, 1897, near Checotah, Indian Territory, by Deputy U.S. Marshals under Deputy Marshal Chris Madsen.

Little Dick West — killed April 8, 1898, in Logan County, Oklahoma Territory, by Deputy U.S. Marshals under Deputy Marshal Chris Madsen.

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